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Old 07.06.2012, 03:55
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Finding first job in Switzerland

Hey Everyone!

I am looking for some suggestions on how to best utilize my time trying to begin my career in Switzerland. I recently graduated in the US with my MBA, and have a bachelor's degree in Finance and Risk Management.

My current strategy is to scour the internet in search of anything within the field I want to work in, and that I'm currently qualified to do. My problem is that I'm not getting any positive feedback - and therefore have two questions:

1. Is the recruiting/hiring/job search process just incredibly slow, or am I just being impatient? I started apply about three months ago, graduated with my MBA one month ago, and only received one response back for more information.

2. I've been trying to decide whether I should be applying from the US over the internet, or whether I should pack up and move to Switzerland. I know there are pros and cons with both strategies, but which one would be the most beneficial? I know the appeal of being available in person would be great, but moving to Switzerland with no prospect of a job has its inherent risks.

I'd appreciate any advice that I can get. Who knows, if things work out, maybe I'll owe some people a couple beers.

Thanks,
Robert
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Old 07.06.2012, 09:33
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Re: Finding first job in Switzerland

Have you done a forum search? we get this question a lot.
I'll say what I have said before-

how is your work permit situation here? Because if you don't have one and are non-EU it is especially tricky for people beginning their careers.

Your best bet if you don't have a clear work permit situation sorted is to apply for the new grad programs if you are young. A lot of the companies here have them (off the top of my head I can think of GE and Nestle, have a google and a forum search) and being part of these programs usually means you are technically based in another country, thus bypassing the work permit situation completely.

If your work permit situation is cleared up (you are EU, for example), then timeline wise, it took me six months to get my first job and every time I wanted just to change jobs it took 4-6 months. Switzerland is exceptionally slow. You are still well within normal limits. Just be aware that if you are non-EU and they have to also apply for a work permit for you, the chances are high that your application doesn't go very far, so ride the companies you are interested in working for. Good luck!
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Old 07.06.2012, 16:42
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Re: Finding first job in Switzerland

@rbrugman: if you require work permit then looking for a job in Switzerland would be tough. Not impossible but not easy. Many recruiting agencies won't even deal with you after you answer no to question about work permit. Best bet, multinational companies. Just make sure you tailor your CV to Swiss standards to get noticed.
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Old 07.06.2012, 23:32
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Re: Finding first job in Switzerland

Thanks for the advice.

Right now, I do not have a work permit, which I know is the #1 reason I'm having trouble being taken seriously. Having lived in Germany for two years, I know how hard it can be to get things done as an America - though not impossible.

I've spent a lot of time working on my CV. That's one aspect I'm not really worried about. It's the classic multinational corporate format with very precise wording and all of the necessary information.

Right now I'm taking a three-front approach to finding a job in Switzerland. I understand that I might not be able to start there as soon as I would like, but I know that I will ultimately find a way. Currently I'm applying for positions in three categories:
  • Graduate "training" positions with Swiss firms such as Netsle, Roche, UBS, and Credit Suisse
  • Entry-level positions through recruiters or the companies themselves
  • Positions with US or Swiss-based multinationals who have offices in Switzerland and will be able to transfer me from the US to Switzerland in the future

I have over 150 applications that I haven't heard anything back from. Many of the positions still list their status as "Open - Accepting Applications", which means I'll just have to continue to wait.

In the meantime, I'll continue to be proactive, so if something arises, I can move quickly.

Thanks again,
Robert
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Old 08.06.2012, 00:51
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Re: Finding first job in Switzerland

Question...why here?
I joined a graduate training program with Straumann in Singapore after I completed my MBA from Rutgers. They sent me to work on projects in Japan, Switzerland, US and finally offered me a permanent position in Switzerland. So you're right that a graduate training program may be a point of entry , and although it's not impossible, I must say it will be tough. There are tons of EU persons who are multilingual who may have an advantage over you. However, perseverance and be prepared to undergo multistage interviews with giving presentations at short notice etc...

Viel Glueck!
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Old 08.06.2012, 01:16
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Re: Finding first job in Switzerland

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Question...why here?
I fell in love with Switzerland the first time I visited in 2005. It has all of the geographical elements of my hometown in Michigan, but also has job opportunities. The thing I probably am the most interested in is the culture: Switzerland is [in my opinion] the best of all the countries that surround it. It has the order and punctuality of Germany, the culture and class of France, the food and friendliness of Italy, and then all of the natural beauty of the Alps.

I'm just as interested in what it has to offer outside of work as I am with the prospect of working there itself.

....and then there's the funny story of when I was a little kid. All my friends wanted to be a fireman or a policeman. I wanted to be a Swiss banker (or at least what Hollywood portrayed them to be.
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Old 05.11.2012, 14:42
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Re: Finding first job in Switzerland

i came across with this site and i found it interesting.

i am a nurse and I niether speaks nor understand Swiss-German and/or German at all. I plan to work in Switzerland and I have been surfing the net for possible workplace and its kinda hard to find. I feel the there is something that fits my qualification.

I am a nurse by profession and currently working in a hospital. I do however want to work in one of the nursing homes in Zurich where I can possibly stay. Getting a resident permit is not an issue, but I guess finding a suitable job is.

my question now is... could i work in an institution where no one or some can speak engish like hospital or nursing home? and is there a way aside from learning german?

thanks!
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Old 07.11.2012, 09:50
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Re: Finding first job in Switzerland

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my question now is... could i work in an institution where no one or some can speak engish like hospital or nursing home? and is there a way aside from learning german?
German is one of the 4 national languages in Switzerland.
Do you have any language skills in French, Italian or Rumantsch?

If you can converse in one of the 4 national languages then look for a job in the relevant language area

If not, start learning one of the languages.

As you can imagine, trying to find a job involving people care when you cannot communicate with the people you will be looking after will not be easy.
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Old 08.11.2012, 13:33
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Re: Finding first job in Switzerland

Thanks Kiwi.

I then have to start learning German. Good Luck to me.
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